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Rethinking river water temperature in a changing, human-dominated world

Climate change and other human activities are modifying river water temperature globally. A more holistic understanding of river temperature dynamics in an integrated climate–land–hydrology–human framework is urgently needed for sustainable river management and adaptation strategies.

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Fig. 1: Examples of how humans influence maximum river temperature during summer.


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This comment is the outcome of a workshop administered under the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) in 2022. D.L. Ficklin is deeply grateful for receiving financial and logistical support during his visit under the University of Birmingham’s IAS Vanguard Fellowship. D.M. Hannah notes the contribution of this research to the activities of the UNESCO Chair in Water Sciences and a Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship (RSWF\R3\183025). N. Wanders acknowledges funding from NWO 016.Veni.181.049 and the National Geographic World Water Map project. T. Markus from Utrecht University designed graphically Fig. 1; this original diagram is based on concepts from all authors. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Environment Agency or other institutions.

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Correspondence to David M. Hannah.

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Nature Water thanks the anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Ficklin, D.L., Hannah, D.M., Wanders, N. et al. Rethinking river water temperature in a changing, human-dominated world. Nat Water 1, 125–128 (2023).

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